Has Someone You Know Been Injured In A Pool Accident?

by Pool Builders on 05-27-2012 in Articles

Accidents involving swimming pools happen at an alarming rate all over the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately three thousand five hundred people die each year because of drowning in pools. These deaths have been attributed to the person falling into the pool, jumping or diving improperly, or becoming stuck or trapped in a drain due to a defective design.

After drowning injuries, the next common forms of pool injuries include: head and neck injuries, such as spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries; injuries to limbs; disembowelment; and death.

The majority of cases involving pool accidents are the direct result of someone's negligence or because of a defective component, such as a drain. When this happens, the injured party may be able to seek legal compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses.

According to the CDC, more than one quarter of all drowning deaths in the United States are children. For every one of these children who parishes by dying in a pool accident, another four children require emergency medical treatment for serious injuries and many of these injuries will result in permanent damage.

Roughly twenty percent of children who are taken to the hospital for near drowning incidents experience brain damage that is severe and often permanent. Most of the children who drown or near drown were last seen inside of the house, and after being out of sight for a few minutes were found in the pool. Swimming pool accident treatment costs anywhere from $75,000 to more than four million dollars per victim for emergency and life time care.

As previously stated, the most common cause of swimming pool accidents is negligence or defective parts.

Negligence is attributed one person failing to take the steps necessary to prevent an accident, which can happen in several different ways. One such example of negligence can be an adult that is supposed to be supervising the children in the pool area, but does not keep a continuous watch. It only takes a few seconds for a child to drown, strike his or her head, or become stuck in a drain. Without constant supervision, serious accidents can result.

Negligence can also happen when the pool area is not properly secured. Pools that do not have proper latches, fencing, or other safety measures are a serious risk to children. Property owners are responsible for ensuring their pools are completely secure so that children cannot enter the premises without supervision.

On top of negligence on the part of the property owner or supervisor, pool manufacturers can also be negligent if they do not make a product that is entirely safe for use by people of all ages. All state swimming pool safety laws need to be complied with in order to prevent swimming pool accidents.

Broken or defective pool components are the next leading cause of pool accidents. Drains are one of the most dangerous elements of a pool, and broken, improperly covered or suction drains that are not properly maintained can cause people to become trapped or stuck. This can lead to serious injuries.

There can be several different ways to help prevent pool accidents from happening. Some suggestions are as follows:

• Create a safe pool area by installing a pool fence that completely encloses the pool from any other area of the house or property.
• Install a fence that is a minimum of four feet high.
• Install gates in the fence that are self latching and self closing. They should also be difficult for children to open and open outward from the pool area.
• Install door locks that are automatic or have alarms to help keep the pool area off limits from the rest of the yard or the house.
• Install a pool cover that is a power safety version.
• Do not keep toys, rafts, or other enticing items for children in the pool area.
• For above ground pools, do not leave steps or ladders in place when not using the pool.
• Make sure the switch for the shut off to the pump is marked clearly.
• Always provide proper supervision and be prepared for emergencies.
• Consider becoming CPR certified.
• Encourage people using your pool to always swim with a partner.
• Do not think because you have flotation devices in the pool area that you do not need to supervise children.
• Never use a pool that has a drain that is broken.
• Drain covers should be a modern design with a domed shape and never flat or missing.
• Pools should be inspected regularly for safety and security of all parts.
• A Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) should be installed so that the pump automatically shuts off if the drain becomes blocked.

For more information on how to make your pool as safe as possible, contact your local pool company or safety inspector. He or she can assess your situation to determine if any modifications should be made.

If you or someone you love has been hurt because of a swimming pool accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. These professionals can help you sort through your legal options and protect your legal rights.

You may be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses, long term care costs, other financial issues, as well as pain and suffering. Even though you may be reeling from the accident and focused on restoring your family as best as possible, you should not delay in contacting an attorney to assist you with all of the details of your case.

These types of cases involving swimming pool accidents can provide compensation to the victims and/or their families from the party who is responsible. An attorney can determine all who need to be held accountable including negligent property owners, negligent adults who did not provide proper supervision, a pool maintenance worker or builder who did not take the steps necessary to eliminate risks, and even the manufacturer of the pool or the defective pool component.

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